Desert Broom

There are several Desert Broom shrubs blooming in my yard.  This plant blooms in the fall, well after the monsoon wildflowers do.  Like last year, I’ve been reminded that a plethora of insects love this plant:

Queen Butterfly on Desert Broom. Copyright: Greg Joder.
Queen Butterfly on Desert Broom. Copyright: Greg Joder.
Snout Butterfly on Desert Broom. Copyright: Greg Joder.
Snout Butterfly on Desert Broom. Copyright: Greg Joder.
Katydid on Desert Broom. Copyright: Greg Joder.
Katydid on Desert Broom. Copyright: Greg Joder.
Metalark Butterfly Species on Desert Broom. Copyright: Greg Joder.
Metalark Butterfly Species on Desert Broom. Copyright: Greg Joder.

Moab, Utah – A birds-eye View

On my way back to Tucson from Boulder I spent a day in Moab, Utah. Usually, when I pass through Moab I take a lot of photos, but this time felt compelled to capture aerial scenes.  In the following video there are clips of the Wall Street climbing area (great sport and crack climbing), Negro Bill Canyon (Outstanding riparian area with lots of biodiversity and a natural arch at the end) and the Colorado River (Great flat water for SUP, kayak and rafting):

Boulder October

Backlit Aspen Leaf. Nederland, Colorado. Copyright: Greg Joder
Back-lit Aspen Leaf. Nederland, Colorado. Copyright: Greg Joder

I made a quick trip to Boulder, Colorado where I spent time with friends and exploring my old stomping grounds.  I rode my mountain bike through the ranch which is now Open Space.  This brought up feelings of joy, pain, loss and wonder…  The old sign still hangs at the entrance:

Joder Ranch Open Space. Copyright: Greg Joder.
Joder Ranch Open Space. Copyright: Greg Joder.

I also spent time up in Nederland, Colorado and was able to make an aerial flight over Barker Reservoir and the Town:

And there was new snow in the high country:

Mount Audubon. Copyright: Greg Joder.
Mount Audubon. Copyright: Greg Joder.

caterpillar ~ chrysalis ~ butterfly

The queen butterfly chrysalis that I’ve been watching went through another stage of metamorphosis this morning (video below).

Queen butterfly chrysalis. Copyright: Greg Joder.
Queen butterfly chrysalis. Copyright: Greg Joder.

This time from chrysalis (pupa) to butterfly. It took 9 days for the chrysalis to go through the cell growth and differentiation to become an adult butterfly. Visually, we can see the morphological changes which is magical in itself.  What we can’t see are the changes the insect goes through on a cellular level, from larva to pupa and pupa to butterfly. The next photo, taken late at night before the complete metamorphosis, shows the chrysalis clearing to reveal the nearly developed adult butterfly.  The video of the whole process follows.

Chrysalis metamorphosis. Copyright: Greg Joder.
Chrysalis metamorphosis. Copyright: Greg Joder.

Watching this process I’ve been wondering if the ‘mind’ of the insect remains intact through the whole process: did it know it was a caterpillar, then a chrysalis before becoming a butterfly? Please watch the following video in HD and full screen for best detail.  To see the butterfly emerge from the chrysalis, skip to the 4:00 minute mark.

Adult butterfly emerges from its chrysalis. Copyright: Greg Joder.
Adult butterfly emerges from its chrysalis. Copyright: Greg Joder.

mountain lion

I took the following photos of Cruz, an orphaned mountain lion, at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

Cruz... Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Copyright: Greg Joder.
Cruz… Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Copyright: Greg Joder.
Cruz. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Copyright: Greg Joder.
Cruz. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Copyright: Greg Joder.
Cruz. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Copyright: Greg Joder.
Cruz. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Copyright: Greg Joder.

metamorphosis – larva to chrysalis

Queen Butterfly Caterpillar.  Copyright:  Greg Joder
Queen Butterfly Caterpillar. Copyright: Greg Joder

I’ve been keeping an eye on the queen butterfly caterpillars that have been feeding on the milkweed and other plants in my yard.  My wish was to see one go through metamorphosis, changing from a caterpillar into a chrysalis.  After a couple missed attempts I was finally able to capture the transformation on video.  The first part of the video starts at normal speed then into timelapse.  The second part shows the main transformation in normal time.  I recommend watching in fullscreen and in HD: